Nikon D800 with high-speed trigger (ballons and water drops)

Started Jun 7, 2013 | Photos thread
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Stephen Sproull
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Nikon D800 with high-speed trigger (ballons and water drops)
Jun 7, 2013

I am in the process of wrapping up my Electrical Engineering degree and I took a course this spring that required all of the students to design and build a project using a PIC microcontrollor. It took me a while to come up with an idea, but one day the thought hit me to build a high speed trigger for photography. I referenced a few online resources while building the system, but as a whole, everything was done by us.

Over the course of the Spring 2013 semester, a friend and I built a high-speed trigger from scratch. We used a PIC18 microcontroller, IR emitter/detector, piezo speaker, solenoid, and many other parts to accomplish the task. In the end, we had a fully working and fully functional unit. I was able to capture some pretty images using the system.

My main setup included a Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikon SB800, and LumoPro 160. Unfortunately I do not own a macro lens so I had to use the 24-70mm and heavily crop. Fortunately the D800 has some extra resolution All of the shots were taken against a collapsible white reflector.

I wrote up a little blog post about the project. Also, I made a video that explains everything and shows the system in action!

I'm happy to answer any/all questions you might have. Thanks!

www.sproullphotography.zenfolio.com/blog

Used blue food coloring for basin of water. Using red food coloring for falling droplet.

The sound of the popping balloon triggered the system. Pretty good response time, eh?

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www.sproullphotography.zenfolio.com
Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S

 Stephen Sproull's gear list:Stephen Sproull's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
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